Mason Crest 450 Parkway Drive, Suite D, Broomall, Pennsylvania 19008 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com

© 2020 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.

Printed and bound in the United States of America. CPSIA Compliance Information: Batch #ECIM2019. For further information, contact Mason Crest at 1-866-MCP-Book. First printing

ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4377-0 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4369-5 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7442-2 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file at the Library of Congress. Interior and cover design: Torque Advertising + Design Production: Michelle Luke Publisher’s Note: Websites listed in this book were active at the time of publication. The publisher is not responsible for websites that have changed their address or discontinued operation since the date of publication. The publisher reviews and updates the websites each time the book is reprinted.

QR CODES AND LINKS TO THIRD-PARTY CONTENT You may gain access to certain third-party content (“Third-Party Sites”) by scanning and using the QR Codes that appear in this publication (the “QR Codes”). We do not operate or control in any respect any information, products, or services on such Third-Party Sites linked to by us via the QR Codes included in this publication, and we assume no responsibility for any materials you may access using the QR Codes. Your use of the QR Codes may be subject to terms, limitations, or restrictions set forth in the applicable terms of use or otherwise established by the owners of the Third-Party Sites. Our linking to such Third-Party Sites via the QR Codes does not imply an endorsement or sponsorship of such Third-Party Sites or the information, products, or services offered on or through the Third-Party Sites, nor does it imply an endorsement or sponsorship of this publication by the owners of such Third-Party Sites.

Chapter 1: The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen . ............. 7 Chapter 2: Broadway Musicals Today ..................................... 25 Chapter 3: Music for Movies and Television . .......................... 39 Chapter 4: Music for Stage and Screen Around the World . .. 55 Chapter 5: Music for Stage and Screen and Modern Culture ................................................ 69 Series Glossary of Key Terms .................................................... 86 Chronology .................................................................................. 88 Further Reading . ........................................................................ 90 Internet Resources ..................................................................... 91 Index . ........................................................................................... 92 Author’s Biography and Credits ............................................... 96 K E Y I C O N S T O L O O K F O R : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.

A scene from a modern production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro . Music has long been an important element of stage performances such as operas and plays.


dialogue —conversation between two or more people. grotesque —music that is strange or unnatural sounding to the ear. leitmotif —a theme that repeats throughout a film during certain situations or when certain characters arrive on screen. musical score —a written form of a musical composition, which includes separate parts for each of the different instruments that will play the music. pervasive —spreading throughout a group of people or things. venue —the place where something happens, such as a show or concert.


The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen The right music can evoke feelings of excitement or terror, of happiness or sadness. Just about every television show, movie, or Broadway play is accompanied by music. Sometimes it is the driving force behind the show; other times, it is in the background. Either way, these compositions fit into a genre known as music for stage and screen. Music composed for stage or screen can fit into nearly any musical genre. Rock, jazz, classical, and hip-hop music are all produced for movies, television series, plays, Broadway performances, and other stage or screen productions. Many of the music composers who work in the film industry are elite musicians. Some movies, television shows, musicals, or plays have iconic soundtracks that become as pervasive in the culture as the movie’s topic itself. Music for the stage and screen has changed a lot over the last several hundred years. Throughout the 1700s and the mid- 1800s, music was often used during plays. The music, designed to tell a story or evoke emotion from the audience, was an important part of the overall production. Until the late nineteenth century, there was no way to prerecord a musical score for a play, so stage productions typically had an ensemble to provide music. The size of the


When live music accompanies theater performances, the musicians usually play in an orchestra pit, which is below and in front of the stage.

ensemble could range from just a few musicians to a full-blown orchestra. The musicians would often play in the orchestra pit, a section of the theater that is normally in front of the stage, but below the stage level. Orchestras could provide full-scale performances as background music or alongside singers in an opera, or they might provide simple incidental music during a play or comedy performance. Orchestra use was common in opera houses, for pantomimes, and for other Broadway-style productions. During operas and other performances, it was normal to see instruments such as flutes, oboes, drums, pianos and violins in the pit orchestra.


Stage and Screen


Pit orchestras are not full-sized orchestras. Instead, they are like mini-orchestras that only include the vital instruments needed to perform a musical score. For example, there may be two violinists, two flutists, a pianist, a guitarist, a drummer, and a saxophonist. Some pit orchestra musicians play multiple instruments, which helps to further reduce the number of people

in the pit. Pit orchestras are expected to synchronize their performances with the performance happening on stage at the same time.

Operas Operas and operettas are popular classical forms of entertainment that combine light acting with ornate

orchestrated music. Operettas can be described as light operas, which may be shorter and less serious, whereas operas tend to be more dramatic and longer. In both cases, trained singers are required to perform. Operas are staged dramas that are set to music. The music usually consists of vocal pieces that have instrumental accompaniment, though there are often interludes and overtures where no singing takes place. Opera music can be continuous throughout each act, or broken into pieces (numbers) that are separated with dialogue . Operas of the past used orchestras consisting of at least one instrument per required part. The orchestra was seated in the pit, which is a space that is typically left open under the stage for musicians.


Chapter 1: The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen

Today, most composers take advantage of digital audio editing equipment to create scores for films or stage shows.

Those who attend operas sit in a large opera house or theater. Usually, these had extremely high ceilings and walls that were padded down with fabric. The acoustics in opera houses are extremely important, which is why they are designed to help sound bounce off certain parts of the room. This makes it easier for the singer to project their voice, for the orchestra to be heard clearly and for the audience to understand the melodies without them becoming jumbled together or muffled by poor acoustics. The Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most popular opera composers of the eighteenth century. Works like The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni are considered masterpieces that are still performed today. Another famous opera composer was Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian


Stage and Screen

who wrote in the nineteenth century. His work La traviata (1853) was one of the most-performed operas in 2019. Other important opera composers of the nineteenth century included the Italian Giacomo Puccini, who created La bohéme (1896) and Madama Butterfly (1904), and the Frenchman Georges Bizet, whose most famous opera is Carmen (1875). The German composer Richard Wagner developed the concept of leitmotif in his nineteenth century dramatic operas, including Der Ring des Nibelungen , Die Meistersinger , and Tristan und Isolde . A leitmotif is a “theme” of music that reoccurs throughout a composition. It can be associated with a particular character, such as the hero (or the villain), but could also be associated with an idea, situation, or group. The purpose of the leitmotif is to signal the audience about the actions taking place. It can also give an idea of the character’s psychological standpoint. For instance, someone who is a villain may have a dark or sad leitmotif, written in a minor key. A hero would be more likely to have a leitmotif in a major key, and it would sound triumphant. Wagner used the leitmotif to enhance dramatic moments within the opera. For example, every time the hero arrives on the scene, the theme plays. Wagner used the leitmotif to put the audience on edge or to make them excited. Today, the concept of the leitmotif is commonly used in film and stage music. Operettas An operetta is a type of light opera, which is usually shorter than an opera and may have lighter themes overall. There is usually spoken dialogue that splits up musical numbers, and the music may feel more lighthearted. Some were romantic, and the music, always with traditional orchestral instruments, reflected this. Some of the most notable composers of operettas include Johann Strauss and the British team of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.


Chapter 1: The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen

The libretto of an operetta is unlike an opera in that it is not entirely sung. In an opera, for instance, the singers move effortlessly from one musical number to the next. In an operetta, there may be some periods of dialogue between the aria and the chorus. There may be introductions to songs, too, which allows the audience to regather their attention on the upcoming piece. Like in an opera, the operetta has a full pit orchestra, which is below the stage and in front of the audience. Singers are classically trained in opera, including singers with the ranges of

During the nineteenth century, the German composer Richard Wagner created epic operas based on German mythology. His use of the leitmotif has been widely copied in music for stage and screen.


first soprano, second soprano (mezzo soprano), contralto, tenor, baritone and bass. Typically, the leads take on the first soprano and tenor parts, which are female and male exclusive. The songs of an operetta may be short, which is in sharp contrast to the opera. Overall, however, they still retained the same classical style of the opera. Operettas are the precursor to today’s musical theater. Vaudeville, Burlesque, and Cabaret Music The vaudeville music genre gained its name from the valley vau-de-Vire in northwest France. This is where many satirical songs were first created. Vaudeville music is music used behind theatrical performances for entertainment. This music is usually combined with comical performances, and it has a light feel. This type of music became very popular during the turn of the twentieth century. Vaudeville performances were acts put together in the form of a variety show. The performers usually didn’t interact with the audience, so music was used to draw in the audience while watching the act. Burlesque music was created in the early eighteenth century. It described classical music that combined comical and serious elements to create a kind of grotesque effect. Burlesque performances in the Victorian Era became popular between the 1830 and 1890s. They were based on plays or operas that were already well-known, but then they were changed to be comical and risqué. The music was often patched together using pieces of the original play or opera’s score, but odd or unique passages would be added. Parodies of songs and opera arias were both normally used in Victorian burlesque shows. Burlesque took on a new form in the nineteenth century during the Edwardian Era. Some women performing would sing


Chapter 1: The Roots of Music for Stage and Screen

A poster for an 1879 production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operetta H.M.S. Pinafore . The two men collaborated on fourteen acclaimed shows. W.S. Gilbert wrote the libretto, or text of the shows, while Arthur Sullivan composed the music.

while showing off their good looks. Later on, this became a show that gradually added more and more nudity, focusing less on the musical aspects. The cabaret has roots in France, with the word cabaret referring to any business that had the right to sell liquor. This could be a bar, club, or other venue . The first cabaret venue,


Stage and Screen

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs